San Diego Padres Owner Accused Of "Bullying Critics To Silence Lawsuit" Reports The New York Post

September 3, 2023

The New York Post has published a report claiming San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler has used a company he owns to "silence trade press" and "bully critics".

"The billionaire owner of the San Diego Padres owns a company that allegedly has been playing hardball with mom-and-pop entrepreneurs in a franchising empire that spans more than 1,000 businesses — and it has also been accused of trying to silence trade press who have reported on its tough tactics," reads the NY Post article entitled "Billionaire Padres owner Peter Seidler accused of ‘bullying critics’ to silence lawsuits brought by youth-sports franchises: sources," written by Josh Kosman. 

The New York Post's convoluted article states that Padres owner Peter Seidler, through his firm Seidler Equity Partners, took a majority stake in Unleashed Brands in December 2022. Unleashed Brands is a Texas-based company that has roughly 1,300 franchises for youth-focused businesses like martial arts studios, trampoline parks and test preparation. 

The story claims Unleashed was mired in litigation from disgruntled franchisees when Seidler's company took over late last year. It is alleged that earlier this year, Unleashed began an orchestrated boycotting campaign against publication Franchise Times after the outlet published critical stories about Unleashed.

"The tough, penny-pinching tactics stand in sharp contrast to Seidler’s reputation as the Padres owner, where he has the third-biggest payroll in baseball and has been blasted for being too generous with players including Manny Machado and Xander Boegarts," continues the NY Post article. "The Padres are one of this season’s biggest disappointments and likely will miss the playoffs."

Overall, the NY Post piece reads like sensational speculation. The New York Post's owner, Rupert Murdoch, once owned San Diego Padres rival the Los Angeles Dodgers, so maybe he still carries some hatred for the team. The New York Post has been particularly hard on the struggling Padres organization over the past year, publishing multiple articles critical of the San Diego baseball club. Peter Seidler is actually the the grandson of Walter O'Malley and nephew of Peter O'Malley, who both once owned the Dodgers before Peter sold to Murdoch in 1998. 

Read the full article here